If you are a CBD buyer, you may have come across some CBD sellers who advertise oils with names like Full Spectrum RSO, RSO Full Spectrum and the like. The “full spectrum” part may sound familiar if you’ve seen full spectrum CBD products, but what does “RSO” mean?
RSO stands for Rick Simpson Oil, the name of the person who invented it 17 years ago. He became a kind of celebrity in the world of medical cannabis, writing a book and creating a documentary that promoted his invention before being sidelined by a stroke in 2018. However, he never patented it, so various sellers of CBD and other cannabis-related products. the products sell what they call “full spectrum RSO” oils.
But we don’t have a full spectrum RSO here at cbdMD, for several good reasons. To understand why not, keep reading.
Who is Rick Simpson?
Rick Simpson is a Canadian who started using medical marijuana decades ago to help him manage the long-term effects of a head injury. In 2003, he had a few spots on his arm that turned out to be a basal cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer.
Investigating the subject, Simpson noticed a study indicating that THC helped reduce tumors in mice. So he created a super potent cannabis oil (according to his account, it has 80 to 90 percent THC) by washing the cannabis sprouts in a solvent and boiling it to a thick substance. He put some on his spots, covered them with a bandage, and finally his carcinoma disappeared.
After that experience, Simpson began evangelizing oil in the rest of the world. He didn’t really sell it; as noted, he did not patent the substance, included instructions on how to make it at home on his website and even gave it away for free (although this could be partly for legal reasons that will come later). But what exactly is in things?
What is full spectrum RSO?
The term “full spectrum” is one you see a lot in the CBD and cannabis industry. We explained in more detail what full spectrum means in a previous post, but the short version is that it describes hemp extract which includes the widest possible range of cannabinoids, terpenes, amino acids and other plant nutrients.
In the language of the industry, this especially indicates that the extract has a certain amount of THC. This is important for both clients and legal reasons. At the federal level in the United States, no hemp product can be legally sold if it has more than 0.3 percent THC. And while less than 0.3 percent of THC won’t give you drugs, it could get you in trouble if drug testing is a part of your life. Otherwise, many people believe that the full spectrum extract gives better results.
As mentioned above, the full spectrum RSO has much more THC than this. This makes it very different from any CBD oil because THC is its main goal: whatever CBD is there is strictly a support player. However, due to the homemade, unregulated nature of full-spectrum RSOs, the exact percentage can vary quite a bit. And in fact, if you find an online marketer selling “full spectrum RSO” or “Rick Simpson oil,” it could be just about anything. Simpson, in fact, openly renounced any other product sold under his name for the same reason.
Which brings us to the next point: why don’t we sell it?
Problems with RSO Full Spectrum
At cbdMD, we like to be as transparent as possible about our products, how we make them, and what they are. We also try to help you detect CBD scams. And while Simpson himself seems to be a true believer in his oil, there are two worrying signs about the whole RSO phenomenon that should make you suspicious.
It is based on huge, unproven claims
Here on our website, we like to promote the benefits of CBD such as daily stress management, improved sleep, and support for exercise recovery. But over-the-counter CBD has not been approved to prevent or treat any disease, and the FDA has not been approved to promote anything as a treatment for a disease that has not been approved. It especially ruins the claims about cancer.
But what does it mean to be an approved treatment? It means that the substance has gone through an extensive testing process, which has involved many humans in rigorously controlled trials that take into account other possible factors that could influence the disease. Only then does the FDA offer its seal of approval.
This is where the Simpson process comes into play. He read a promising study on mice, but the physiology of the mouse is different from human physiology, so that doesn’t really tell us if it works in people, only that it should be studied in people. Simpson experimented with himself and his cancer disappeared, but sometimes cancers go away on their own, especially if they are in the early stages. So how do we really know if oil did anything?
That’s why properly designed clinical trials have so many people. A person whose condition improves after taking a substance could be a coincidence, but multiply it by hundreds or thousands, and it seems more of a real effect. In addition, clinical trials also count people whose condition does not improve, which often leads to a loss of confidence in personal testimonials.
This is not to say that full-spectrum RSO does not work. But it would be irresponsible to confidently claim to do so. Simpson escaped FDA scrutiny by not selling his oil for profit, but in 2018 he received a stern letter from the founder of the International Association of Cannabis and Medicine calling him to make incomplete claims, showing a general ignorance about cannabis. and deter people from seeking more conventional treatment.
“To misinterpret things as not understanding chemistry, physiology, and medicine is not what I have against you,” wrote Dr. Franjo Grotenhermen. “It is not necessary to understand all the details. However, this is a matter of life or death, and such a serious matter, that you should be accused of not living up to your responsibility and therefore , of your own aspirations “.
Full spectrum RSO is illegal in many locations
As noted above, to be federally legal in the United States, a cannabis product cannot have more than 0.3 percent THC content. Full spectrum RSO, by definition, has much more than that. And in fact, that’s why Rick Simpson himself stopped giving away his oil through his website because he was with the legal authorities. He left instructions to do so, but even doing full RSO at home is illegal in many states.
Sometimes you can get prefabricated full-spectrum RSOs at state dispensaries that have legalized marijuana. But since e-commerce is a national or even global business, and most e-commerce companies don’t particularly want to be destroyed by the FBI, it’s likely that what they sell as a full-spectrum RSO is just full spectrum CBD oil. with a very small amount of THC.
As we have said, full spectrum CBD oil has benefits. And research continues to uncover interesting new applications for CBD, THC and other cannabis compounds. But you shouldn’t expect it to cure cancer.
Use cannabis products responsibly
So now that we’ve poured a lot of cold water on the full spectrum RSO phenomenon, this may seem pretty daunting when it comes to the use of cannabis products in general. And it is true that in this still largely unregulated space, you have to be a smart shopper to make sure you get good products and have realistic expectations of your results. But fortunately, you can do this with a few simple steps.
Always talk to your doctor first
It is true that the medical world has not always been so friendly with cannabis, but things have changed in recent years. Doctors are increasingly aware of CBD and other cannabis products, and your doctor is likely to give you some first-hand advice on whether they can benefit from full-spectrum RSO, CBD oil, or other types of cannabis. cannabis oil.
It is also a good idea to talk to your doctor because the effectiveness of some medications can be reduced by taking CBD and other cannabinoids. Therefore, if you are already taking medication, you should find out if they are on this list. Also, your doctor should know if you are taking CBD if you are prescribed anything.
Find out exactly what’s in the products
As we said above, anyone can apply “full spectrum RSO” to their product, because there are no enforceable standards on what that means. This is true for many things in the cannabis world, unfortunately. So the best way to find out what’s in your products is to read the labels carefully, and if a company doesn’t offer a detailed label, don’t buy it.
Some things to look for: What cannabinoids are in the product? Is there THC? How much? If a company is truly transparent, it will provide laboratory test results for each batch of its products with these details, along with information about any heavy metals or other contaminants that may appear in the hemp extract.
It is also helpful to know where the extract comes from. To be legal at the federal level, all cannabis products in the U.S. must come from industrial hemp, which must not contain more than 0.3 percent dry weight THC. I don’t know if it’s even possible to get a real full spectrum RSO out of it, but probably not. However, this way you will know that the product you are buying is legal.
If you are in a state that has legalized marijuana, you can legally buy marijuana products and not just hemp products, so you have a chance to find a real full spectrum RSO. But you will probably need to go to an authorized dispensary to get it.
Avoid extravagant claims
Let’s face it – most people don’t care. No cannabis product you can buy online or over-the-counter is approved to treat any disease. There are some cannabis derivatives, such as Marinol and Epidiolex, that are approved as drugs, but are manufactured by specific companies and are only available by prescription (and for quite serious conditions).
Therefore, any company that sells CBD or any other cannabis product as a disease treatment is in violation of the law and is therefore unreliable. The explosion of startups in this space has meant that the FDA has not always been able to keep up with things, so don’t assume that just because a company has managed to stay online, it’s not doing anything wrong.
This is not to say that you should not try full spectrum RSO. It is unlikely to hurt you (although doing so at home has some dangers as it involves flammable solvents) and could help. But make sure you get it in the right place and know what you’re getting into.